american apparel t shirt here
i cannot believe i can actually link something to an actual shopping site.

this is a mens or unisex t shirt in xs and
i love it.  

pardon my absence but i have been a bit scattered this week.
i'm sad to report lots of not great stuff happening around here.
stressful things.

first, i've been devastated and afraid to even talk about it here but 
miss doris, remember my wonderful friend?
she's on hospice.  
my heart is so heavy, it's hard to talk about - i love this woman to pieces.
please send prayers and good wishes.  thank you.

next, our youngest son broke his femur the other night in a bad snowboarding accident.
he will be ok, but has a long recovery ahead of him.
luckily, he is surrounded by close family and friends - and i think that can have a huge impact on his recovery.  so if you could...a little prayer for him too.
i want to give a huge shout out thank you to all his coworkers and bosses at powder mountain
for being so kind during this stressful time.

i don't know about you but good friends have made all the difference in my life.

so anyway, i'm probably going to be away from here a bit.
i hope you understand.



the story & cost of our kitchen renovation

i apologize up front for those that are sick and tired of seeing this kitchen but i've been getting lots of emails asking for details so i kinda need to do this.

this first picture was taken the day we took ownership.  you can see larry has already started ripping out the carpet in the living room.

this kitchen cost $14k to renovate.  i'll tell you exactly the price breakdown at the end of the post.
remember, the kitchen is small and only has 3 base cabinets and one upper (w/o doors) so that kept costs down.
another key to keeping the cost relatively low was using the same layout of basic fixtures that was already here.
i tried to think of ways to have a proper triangle working space but in the end it was impossible.
so now when i cook i get exercise too.

another trick to save money was using the baseboard and crown molding as part of the cabinet design.  we ran the 6" crown around the room, wrapping the upper cabinet in.  and then we ripped 4" off the 10" baseboard and incorporated it into the base cabinet structure.
all 3 cabinets have a furniture look to them now b/c of that.  it's one of my favorite things about this kitchen.

here you can see how the crown and base moldings are incorporated into the cabinets.
i often get asked about whether or not i like having the open cabinets and the answer is Yes.
i love the way they look and i love the way they function.
also, i got used to not having the toe kick really fast.  it is no big deal and again, love the way it looks.

i remember this day so clearly.  the floor was complete and covered with paper and cardboard to protect it and when those cabinets were brought in and the granite was placed on top i think i cried.  yeah, i'm sure i did.  my heart was ready to burst i was so happy.  up until this point i had no idea if any of my ideas were going to really work out.

we started with the flooring in this kitchen b/c i wanted the cabinets to sit on top of the flooring instead of the flooring butting up to them.  see that big old refrigerator?  when we moved it there was a big hole in the floor where it had been leaking.  we knew at that point we were going to have to tile the floor.
we could reuse the kitchen floorboards that were still in good shape in the living room to fill in the large hole that the floor heater left when we tore it out.  so it all worked out nicely.

the cabinets and all the walls and trim throughout the house are painted in benjamin moore's simply white.
(except the office which is ralph lauren mercer)

ahhh, the lovely pantry.
quite scary in there.

i love all the beadboard that the cabinet guy put in.  even the ceiling is beadboarded.

you can see this is where the microwave, toaster and coffee maker is.
it's our breakfast center.

ok so here is the basic cost breakdown, installation is included

kitchen cabinets (includes all baseboards, crown moulding and rebuilding pantry 4k

countertops (honed black granite) 2k

viking range 5k

kohler farmhouse sink 1k

vintage faucet 300.

backsplash (white subway) 300.

flooring (2x2 hex tile) 1400.
total 14k

you could easily knock $4 or 5k off this if you used a regular stove and sink.
and even more if you can do tile work.

wait...the price for the subway tile is a little low b/c about a year after being here i had the guy come back and tile the entire wall behind the stove.  i think he charged $200 to do that.
and the bamboo blinds are from lowes - i think they are $20 bucks each.
and the drapes are from target and are $20 a pair.

so that is that.
and i hope this answers your questions.



my dear friend sarah from the blog my yellow house recently lost her entire blog!
she has started a new one and i'd love for you to pop over and say hi.

one day


together again

this is my luggage.

up until the other day it is all i had for travel.

larry bought it for me about 15 years ago.
i remember the matching rolling luggage that went with it but was way out of our price range.
my weekender has worked well for me - taught me how to pack light.

but recently...what do you think i found at the goodwill?
uh huh.

its sister.

together again.

finding this was like finding a needle in a haystack - probably harder.

some people would say i'm lucky but i think it is has more to do with tenacity.
so the next time you think the goodwill or salvation army doesn't have anything good in it, you might want to think twice.  in all honesty this piece is in better condition than my piece.  it looks like it has maybe been used once or twice. 
now i just need somewhere to go.

have a wonderful weekend.


jack reacher and me

has anyone seen the jack reacher movie?  
larry has read all of lee child's books so we had to go.
i fully expected to not like it but i was surprised.
it was quite enjoyable.

anyway halfway through the movie i realized i was dressed exactly like tom cruise.
i can't find any details on-line but i'm positive that throughout the movie he is wearing a double rl thermal just like mine here.

so that was weird.

i've been feeling incredibly self-conscious lately.
i have no idea why but i can hardly bring myself to take fashion pics or pics of the house.
or even talk about myself.  i wonder what is up with that.

ok so like jack reacher, don't take shit from anyone today.



how to clean le creuset cookware

after many many hours of baking bread in this vintage le creuset dutch oven it had become quite discolored.  after searching on-line for ways to clean it i opted for the bon-ami and a little elbow grease method.

it worked beautifully.
i have been Getting Things Done around here.
how's your new years going?

i need to share some of my resolutions.
how about your resolutions?  how are they going?


organizing keys

my life was recently complicated by the addition of a backdoor key.
so now i had 2 keys that were almost identical.  what to do?

i used Fuschia nailpolish for the Front door key
and Blue nailpolish for the Back door key.
if you are young and hip (sadly i am neither) and have black nailpolish then you could make
black keys.
that would be cool.

i am not clever enough to have thought of this on my own.
i saw it somewhere a long time ago and i thought to myself how difficult life must be for some people to have 2 keys to deal with.  just kidding.
anyway that's just how exciting it is around here these days.


re caulking the bathtub

ok, this grout is hideous.
when exactly did this happen to my bathroom?

or how did this sneak up on me?

this is embarrassingly awful.
so i  fixed it.

i started by getting a razor blade and carefully cutting out the old caulk.
i made 2 cuts.  one above the old caulking and one below.
this was surprisingly easy and a little addicting.
it just pulled right out.

after the old caulking was removed,
i scrubbed the area with a toothbrush and soapy water then let it dry for a few hours.  i stopped in at home depot and picked up a tube of caulking with anti-microbial properties and filled the gap and then smoothed it with my fingertip.

so much better.  and so easy.  i think the whole thing took less than 2 hours.

have a beautiful day.



sick and tired of being sick and tired?

i've taken a cruise through blog land this morning and i've noticed that a lot of you are sick.

and since it is the start of a new year why not consider taking control of your health today by taking control of your kitchen.  that's right!  declare war on your kitchen today.
go in there and see what could be making you ill.
i bet it could use a good clean out right about now.

a lot of you ask how i declutter and keep things so minimal.
one of the ways i do it is a regular kitchen clean out.
i go through the pantry and look for things that somehow found their way into my grocery basket while i was having a weak moment.  and i do the same with the refrigerator.

i dare you to get rid of every dead animal and every animal by-product in your refrigerator and freezer.
haha, that's right...i dare you!

and you know what?  if you do, i promise you will start feeling better right away,
not only physically but emotionally too.

food is medicine.  it feeds our souls and every fiber of our being.
come can do this.

here's to a happy and healthy new year to us all.


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